There is an abundance of things to explore and experience in An Giang Province, the Mekong Delta, but the indispensable one is indeed Sam Mountain as well as the Sam mountain relic site. If you’re interested in discovering this land’s history, culture, and architecture nearby, just read Sam Mountain travel guide before you go. Although there is nothing entertaining you, compared to other amusement areas, historical and cultural values of the land never disappoint you for sure.
Where is Sam Mountain?
Located 284 meters above sea level, Sam Mountain is one of the renowned tourist destinations in An Giang Province, the Mekong Delta. There are up to 200 temples, pagodas, and shrines scattered from the foot of the mountain, the mountainsides to the peak. Among these religious sites, the most well-known one is the temple of the Lady of the Realm. Each time festivals of the area take place, thousands of visitors from other places made pilgrimages to this temple for worship.
Besides being named Sam Mountain, it’s called other impressive names, such as Vinh The Son – Vinh Te Mountain, Ngoc Lanh Son – Ngoc Lanh Mountain. The mountain belongs to Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc City, An Giang Province, and it’s easy to be reached by motorbike from the city center.
How to Get to Sam Mountain from Ho Chi Minh City
Sam Mountain is in An Giang Province. If you’re staying in Ho Chi Minh City, what you need to do first is to take a bus to the city center of Chau Doc. Just come to choose and go with one of the bus lines at Mien Tay Bus Station – 395 Kinh Duong Vuong Street, An Lan Ward, Binh Tan District.
Once you set foot in the city center of Chau Doc, rent a motorbike at your hotel to Sam Mountain. Just travel along National Route 91 about 6 kilometers, and you’ll hit the destination.
What’s interesting around Sam Mountain?
The first thing making the Sam mountain awesome to visit is the ravishing landscape with many trees especially in blossom. In the flowering, the mountain seemingly turns into red or pink due to the followers in full bloom, creating an alluring painting among nature nobody can resist.
On the top of the mountain is the site of a fortress built in the French colonial era and the trace of the base where the statue of the Lady of the Realm once stood. Just climb up there to peer down at the scenery below. Standing on the top of the Sam mountain, you can get a panoramic view of Chau Doc and soak up the wonderful ambiance and the serenity there.
Lots of temples, pagodas, and shrines spread over the mountain, and the most famous ones are the temple of the Lady of the Realm, Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb, and Phuoc Dien Pagoda. Those places have been designated as national relics by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
The temple of the Lady of the Realm (Mieu Ba Chua Xu)
This temple is considered as the most renowned destinations in An Giang Province and also one of the most sacred places in the Mekong Delta. It attracts millions of visitors from different areas of the country every year. The temple is often crowded in the 1st and 4th lunar months since it’s the time of festivals.
Legend has it that the Lady of the Realm was at the top of the Sam mountain, and she sent the villagers a dream that she wanted to descend and have a temple of her own; if the villagers did that, she would bring them a wealthy life. That’s the reason of the birth of the temple of the Lady of the Realm.
Since the temple was erected, the villagers’ life has started to be better; they always got abundant crops all year round. Then, lots of people go on a pilgrim to the temple to worship as well as pray for peace and prosperity.
Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb
Explore the Sam mountain, you can’t miss Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb, situated on National Highway 91, and opposite the temple of the Lady of the Realm. Built in the era of the Nguyen dynasty, Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb is one of the structures keeping intact in the Sam Mountain relic site. Its campus is quite large and nestles in brick walls. Two entrance gates were also constructed with bricks, making the tomb like an ancient castle. There is a marble stele house between the two gates, and the stele inside was carved with the name of Vinh Te Mountain.
Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb is not only a huge and splendid architectural structure, but also carries specific cultural and historical values. More impressively, the tomb was designated as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Tay An Pagoda
Tay An Pagoda, situated in the historical relic site of the Sam mountain was erected as a bamboo shrine in 1847, and it was rebuilt and refurbished in 1958. It’s taken into account as a perfect mix of Hindu & Islamic architecture and traditional style of Vietnam. The Vietnamese characteristic represents at the main gate, especially on the roofline romp figures of two dragons and lions fighting for possession of pearls, lotus blossoms, chrysanthemums, and apricot trees.
The pagoda is protected by statues of a white elephant with six tusks and a black elephant with two tusks. There are fine carvings of many religious figures inside, and most of them were made of wood and some were embellished with disco-light halos. Statues comprise Sakyamuni, 12 midwives, and 18 arhat (a-la-han).
Hang Pagoda is also called another name, Phuoc Dien Pagoda and located on the side of the Sam mountain. Standing in front of the pagoda campus, you can witness phenomenal views of the green paddy fields and rows of cajuput trees. Corners inside the pagoda are beautifully decorated with green trees and statues of the Buddha.